Scavello: Committee Approves Bill Allowing Local Police Radar to Reduce Speeding

Harrisburg – Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Mario Scavello (R-40) to permit local police to use radar to enforce speed limits was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Transportation Committee today.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the U.S. that prohibits local police from using radar guns.

Senate Bill 535 and Senate Bill 559, which also permits the use of LIDAR laser light devices, were sent to the full Senate for consideration.

Senator Scavello had prime sponsored similar legislation over three sessions as a member of the House of Representatives. Following passage of this important legislation, Senator Scavello said, “In my legislative district we have had many unfortunate accidents and deaths due to excessive speeding and this legislation won’t take back those tragedies but it will prevent future tragedies.”

“Radar is less expensive to use and maintain than older devices and would reduce deaths that result from speeding cars,” he said. “It makes no sense that Pennsylvania stands as the last state to preventing use of a tool that local police have been requesting for years.”

In Pennsylvania, only State Police are currently allowed to use radar.

To ensure that police departments do not use the devices to generate revenue, Senate Bill 559 requires that any revenue exceeding 5 percent of the municipal budget must be remitted to State Police to fund traffic safety efforts.

“Municipalities post speed limits because speed kills, but the state only permits outdated, inefficient methods to be used to prevent such deaths,” Scavello said. “It’s not a matter of joining the 21st century; Pennsylvania has yet to allow police to use 20th century technology. That has to change.”

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CONTACT: Christine Zubeck czubeck@pasen.gov (717)787-6123